A typical Irish will spend $5 on alcohol daily. 2 points for Ireland! I graduated college 2 years ago, and I certainly don’t remember research ever being this much fun.
Because my time in Ireland is limited (9 days, minus 2 travel days), I am trying to absorb all the information I possibly can about its culture before I get there. Like the Irish, who drink alcohol on a daily basis, I have been drinking up a daily dose of Irish culture, reading chapter after chapter of the Rick Steves book, IRELAND 2013. I also bought a collection of poems by W.B. Yeats, which I hope will lead me further into the heart of Ireland.
Ireland is wealthy in the arts – it seems that music and literature are the preferred forms of artistic expression (according to my research). When I read about the Irish love for music, I knew I randomly picked the right place for me. At gatherings, everyone sings, and your uninhibited performance is really all that matters. So my less talented inner Whitney Houston will hopefully scream out a song or two…
I daydream about the friendliness and hospitality Ireland seems to be known for. What I have learned is that (at least at pubs) the first night you’re a guest, and after that you’re a regular. Now, no matter how safe they tell me it is out there, I am hesitant about going out alone at night. Thankfully, I hear hostels often have walking tours, and group outings. Something I do not want to miss is the Irish Pub experience. Later at night, the band may sing a sean nos (Gaelic for “old style)…A lament in which the entire pub goes silent as everyone listens. If the mood and chemistry is right, this should be one of the great Irish experiences. (Rick Steves recommends studying the faces around during the sean nos).
I highly doubt loneliness will strike at any point of this trip. Talking with everyone is a characteristic of Irish culture, often called the Irish gift of gab
, rooted in ancient Celtic culture.
Northern Ireland is actually a province of the United Kingdom, but the Republic of Ireland (south) is where I will be spending my surreal days of glory. The Easter Uprising in 1916 brought about both Ireland’s civil war and war of independence against Britain.
I sincerely look forward to the rainy weather, which never fails to sooth me and add on a little romantic and cozy vibe (at least for me).
Only seven days left. [insert girly scream here]
“The great Gael of Ireland
The lord hath made them mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.” -G.K. Chesterton